The Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) Services board held its fourth annual Recovery Celebration last week at Bell Manor in Chillicothe.
“As we continue our efforts to support recovery on every level, it is important to take a moment and thank those on the front lines,” said Phyllis Amlin Snyder, chair of the ADAMH Board of Directors. “Together we can do so many good things in our communities and there is a steadfast commitment to quality treatment and recovery. Treat works, people recover and recovering people work and gibe back to our communities, as it is so evident this evening.”
Sam Quinones was the keynote speaker for the celebration. He is an author, journalist, storyteller and former L.A. Times reporter. He placed a national spotlight on the fight against opiate addiction in Southern Ohio with the 2015 release of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic”. His most recent book is “The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth”. Quinones’ presence in the community has re-energized the recovery movement in Southern Ohio.
The Community Champion Award for Mental Health was shared by two Highland County residents — Nathan Brown, Highland County farmer, and Highland County Suicide Prevention Coalition Treasurer Tara Campbell.
“Nathan was an integral part of the creation of the Ohio Department of Agriculture’s ‘Got Your Back” campaign, which brings awareness to the mental health challenges in Ohio agriculture,” Campbell said. “Among Nathan’s accomplishments is that he assists locally with the Harvesting Healthy Minds, which is a mental health workshop at the Highland County Fair, and started a peer-to-peer farmer’s social media page that provides a platform for farmers to talk as well as provide resources for mental illness and suicide prevention.”
Campbell was also recognized. She was nominated by Julie Wise, Highland County Community Action executive director. Campbell serves as the deputy director of Community Action and operates a family farm with her husband. She is the chair of the Highland County Suicide Prevention Coalition.
“In 2021, Tara led an effort to address the significant positive difference farmers make in our community beyond physical labor in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Mental Health Stigma Reduction, faith-based grant. Tara was also instrumental in planning the first Harvesting Healthy Minds event at the Highland County Fairgrounds,” Wise said.
“We are thrilled to be able to have our annual Recovery Celebration in person for the first time in two years,” said Penny Dehner, ADAMH board executive director. “Although we continued to recognize advocates during the pandemic it is so important to continue this annual event to celebrate the extraordinary individuals that work in our board region. The Paint Valley ADAMH board is so pleased to honor those that are making a difference in our recovery oriented system of care by making sure our communities have the services that they need. The mental and physical demands of caring for others can be challenging and extremely tiring. Therefore, it is so critical to practice self-care. Taking care of yourself, both physically and mentally, is the only way you can continue to help others.”
The Paint Valley ADAMH board is a political subdivision of state government, created in 1967 by the Ohio Legislature to ensure the availability of community-based addiction and mental health services for the residents of Fayette, Highland, Pickaway, Pike and Ross counties.
Submitted by Melinda Sheets, public affairs coordinator, ADAMH.